North Korea’s de facto embassy in Tokyo held an emergency meeting on Feb. 28 to denounce a shooting incident at its headquarters and demand the Japanese government do something to prevent such “inhumane terrorism.”

About 450 people who hold North Korean citizenship in Japan and their supporters joined the meeting at a conference hall in Tokyo and chanted such slogans as, “No more discrimination and violations of human rights.”

Around 3:50 a.m. on Feb. 23, five shots were fired from a car at the front gate of the headquarters of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) in Chiyoda Ward, near JR Iidabashi Station. Tokyo and Pyongyang do not have diplomatic relations, so Chongryon acts as a North Korean embassy.

No one was hurt in the shooting.

“It is an unacceptable act of inhumane terrorism against our comrades in Japan,” Nam Sung U, vice chairman of Chongryon, said at the gathering. “As an ethnic group, we adamantly and furiously denounce (such acts).”

Those at the meeting decided to ask the Japanese government to uncover all details of the shooting and come up with preventive measures.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of destruction of property.

According to police, right-wing activist Satoshi Katsurada, 56, drove the vehicle and Yoshinori Kawamura, 46, a former member of an organized crime group, shot the gun from the front passenger seat.

Police said Kawamura has claimed possession of the weapon.

“The North Korean missile testing breached my limit of patience,” police quoted Katsurada as saying. “I was planning to ram the car into the building.”

According to a source related to the public security authorities, Katsurada has participated in nationalistic demonstrations organized by a rightist group that criticizes ethnic Koreans in Japan.

He has also joined protests against North Korea’s missile tests in front of the Chongryon building, most recently in November.

On Feb. 28, five human rights organizations against hate speech released a joint statement condemning the incident.

“The shooting was the ultimate act of violence that is far more serious than verbal attacks,” the statement read.

The groups said such violence will spread “enormous fear” among ethnic Koreans in Japan.

The perpetrators “do not consider ethnic Koreans as members of the same society, and consider it acceptable to kill or wound them,” the statement said.

The groups also pointed out that this incident proves that “leaving hate speech undealt with can result in physical hate crimes and violence.”

The statement demanded the Japanese government “condemn the incident as a hate crime rooted in discrimination and nationalism, and deal with it more strictly than an ordinary crime.”